by Eric Beetner
The crystal sent shards of candlelight dancing around the room. The wine itself was a burgundy enticement to sex later in the evening. Hal planned it all as the first step toward reconnection with Maura. He may be just a dumb husband but even he knew things hadn’t been right in some time. Spurred on by a magazine article he normally would never read, he cribbed advice on piecing it back together.
Maura arrived late. Her shoulders dropped when she turned into the dining room and saw the romantic arrangement.
“Hal, you shouldn’t have.”
“You deserve it.” He brought her the glass and swirled it to release the aroma.
“We need to talk.”
Words he feared. Words he knew were coming.
“Should I sit?”
“If you like.”
He folded into the chair like the air had been let out of him. He let the wine glass slap the table and a drop spilled over the side onto the tablecloth like a tear. Would she leave and make him clean up or would he be the one to go, leaving her with a blotch of red like the last stain from a broken heart?
Hal let his eyes fall to the carpet. “So this is it?”
“Yeah. This is it.” The words were a relief to say but burned her throat just the same. “But it gets worse.”
Hal raised his eyes as her lover entered the room. A man he didn’t know behind a shape he recognized. His own gun.
[For more on Eric’s writing visit ericbeetner.blogspot.com His debut novel, co-written with JB Kohl, is titled One Too Many Blows To The Head and is due out this fall from Second Wind publishing.]